EcoWaste Coalition deplores online sale of dangerous cosmetic, slimming products

By on March 24, 2015


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MANILA — A citizens’ watchdog group promoting public health and safety from hazardous goods and wastes scored the sale of prohibited beauty and slimming products in online shopping websites.

“We deplore the use of online retail sites to peddle unauthorized goods banned by the government for posing serious health risk to consumers. Online shoppers must be forewarned,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.

“We urge the management of these online retail sites to quickly remove advertisements for such dangerous products in light of the government-issued health directives and to impose sanctions that will bar the posting of such ads,” he said.

“We also call upon our law enforcement authorities, including the National Bureau of Investigation, to intervene and go after the traders to stop the unlawful cyber marketing,” he said.

A targeted search by the EcoWaste Coalition on two major online shopping sites showed that banned skin whitening cosmetics contaminated with mercury and slimming products with amphetamine, sibutramine and steroids are being sold despite being prohibited by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).

For banned mercury-containing cosmetics, lazada.com.ph offers Angel Placenta Whitening Cream and JJJ Magic Spots Removing Day and Night Cream, while olx.ph sells Erna Whitening Cream, S’Zitang and several variants of banned BG, Jiaoli and St. Dalfour skin whitening products.

For banned slimming products, among those spotted being sold at lazada and olx were Brazilian Slimming Coffee, Leisure Burn Body Fat Orange Juice, Leisure 18 Slimming Coffee and Sehat Badan Powder.

In addition, the EcoWaste Coalition found slimming products prohibited by Hong Kong’s Department of Health due to undeclared and banned drug ingredients, sibutramine and phenolphthalein, on sale in olx, including Authentic Leisure 18 Slimming Orange Juice, Body Beauty 5 Days Slimming Coffee, Brazilian 7 Days Slimming Coffee, Coffee Fashion Slimming, Leisure 18 Slimming Mango Juice, Leisure 18 Slimming Orange Juice and Super Slim Orange Juice.

Mercury in skin lightening products may damage the skin, the brain and the central nervous system and the kidneys, while amphetamine, sibutramine and steroids in slimming products may cause severe health reactions, including increased cardiovascular risks. Phenolphthalein has been banned due to possible cancer-causing effect.

In the interest of public health, the FDA had issued several health advisories instructing its inspectors to confiscate such unregistered products from all outlets or establishments where they are found, sold or offered for sale or use.

From 2010 to date, the FDA had banned some 116 skin whitening products for containing mercury or for being sold without the required market authorization.

Also, the FDA had banned since 2010 at least 30 anti-obesity pills and fat-burning slimming products for containing banned substances, for making false claims or for having no market authorization.